Serena Williams is one remarkable woman and tennis star. She has confirmed, once again, that she is one of the greatest-ever stars of the sport by bagging a 19th Grand Slam title in her Australian Open final with Maria Sharapova.
The all-conquering American star is now within touching distance of Steffi Graff in the all-time titles list, and you wouldn't bet against Serena catching her.
Major no.19, Serena's sixth in Melbourne, was landed with another domineering performance over Sharapova, the fiercest of rivals, despite using a rain delay to vomit having suffered with illness in the hours before their final – she really is indestructible.
The on-court record, or, more aptly, choke-hold, that Serena has on Sharapova is really quite astonishing. The winning streak now stretches over 16 matches and 11 years, it's even more impressive considering that Sharapova has arguably been her biggest competitor in the last 10 years.
You'd think with a record like the one I've just mentioned and a trophy cabinet which features 14-more Grand Slam titles that Serena is the one who is most likely to be remembered by future generations – but I wouldn't bank on it, despite this latest win.
Sharapova is really unique in the world of tennis. I have made comparisons on this site before with her and David Beckham; I'll reaffirm that now too.
Becks, gold old 'Golden Balls', made himself into a worldwide brand that will be forever remembered, even though he wasn't and isn't the greatest footballer-ever. Of course that's not to say he was great, he had a right football as beautiful as anybody in the world, but the greatest? - I'm sure the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi would have something to say about that.
Nonetheless, Beckham made himself an icon with what he did/does away from football and Sharapova is the same. She may not be the best tennis player in the world but she has enshrined herself in folklore by bringing glitz and glamour to the sport. She is as good-a businesswoman as she is tennis star.
While Serena obviously has made millions in her various sponsorships and endorsements, she isn't exactly alone in that respect. As well as having all of what Serena has, Sharapova has her own brand with companies that she manages and extremely popular fashion lines.
I don't want this to sound disrespectful towards Serena, that is not the intention of this article – she is amazing, the best at tennis that I've ever seen. Rather, this article is just to reflect on two fantastic females who have done so much for the sport – but one of them, Sharapova, is likely to have the greater legacy because of her worldwide, instantly recognisable image.
Though, let's be fair, she could do with beating the American at least once more before she retires, it's getting a little embarrassing now...
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